FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 4/28/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 4/28/24

Weather could impact one of our best spots for pitching. Can we still turn to him? Which stacks can separate with weather also impacting the best ballpark?

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Tarik Skubal ($10,900)

On a slate without another true stud, Tarik Skubal ($10,900) represents a true fork in the road in tournaments today.

The Detroit Tigers' lefty has delivered on preseason AL Cy Young hype, amassing a 1.82 ERA in five starts. That's well-supported by a 2.56 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), and some of the numbers are even more impressive as you dive. Skubal has generated a whiff on 14.1% of his pitches this season, and his 29.6% hard-hit rate is stellar.

There are only two true concerns for him today, and time will tell how serious they might be. First, the weather in Motown isn't ideal, and an ill-timed delay could squash his start early. We've even seen elite arms scratched in these scenarios, so hanging around at lock is advised. Secondarily, the opposing Kansas City Royals have been no pushover against left-handed pitching.

K.C. has an 88 wRC+ against southpaws (ninth-worst in MLB), but their 17.2% strikeout rate is fifth-lowest. That would be a path to ultimate upside in DFS.

Nonetheless, Skubal easily tops all expected starting pitchers on the main slate, per the MLB fantasy-point projections at FanDuel Research (39.5). He's the default option in cash games.

Zack Littell ($8,900)

Many of us have been burned in consecutive outings by the revival of the Chicago White Sox offense in the previous two days. Without a clear second option behind Skubal, going back to the well might be required.

Chicago still is a plum spot for RHPs when looking at their larger sample. The Pale Hose have a paltry 73 wRC+ in the split, which is easily the worst in baseball. They've also struck out at a 24.2% rate (ninth-highest), and only 27.4% of their balls in play against righties have been considered hard-hit ones (fifth-lowest).

A decent righty is still a good wager against them, and Zack Littell ($8,900) of the Tampa Bay Rays definitely qualifies.

Littell delivered a modest 4.10 SIERA in limited work last season, but he's really risen to the occasion in 2024. That number now sits at 3.38, accompanied by a solid 32.9% hard-hit rate (76th percentile) and 4.3% walk rate (89th percentile), per Baseball Savant.

Also holding a 25.0% strikeout rate, I think our projections might a touch pessimistic on his projected strikeout total (4.52) just because it was a much lower rate a year ago (19.5%). I see him as the clear second target to Skubal.

Others to Consider

  • Michael Wacha ($8,800)
    • Also battling weather in Detroit, Wacha can absolutely handle a Tigers lineup with the eighth-worst wRC+ and sixth-highest strikeout rate against righties. I'm always biased against the massive start-to-start variance in recent years, though.
  • Albert Suarez ($8,100)
    • Though Suarez's 0.00 ERA won't stick forever, his SIERA (3.91) and xERA (2.93) are both pretty solid, and it doesn't get much easier to keep this stretch rolling. Above all ugly peripheral metrics, the Oakland Athletics haven't topped three runs in nine straight games.

Stacks to Target

Miami Marlins

I'm likely not going to lead this section often with the Miami Marlins, but they've got a spot that is usually tired and too popular that might be sneaky today.

It's fatiguing how often bettors and DFS players target Patrick Corbin despite getting burned, but Corbin's weaknesses are especially appealing on a day like today where he won't be popular to oppose. I'm much more defending single-game variance there than I am the Washington Nationals veteran's ugly 5.96 xERA, tiny 14.6% strikeout rate, or 47.4% hard-hit rate.

The reason why players won't turn here? Miami's 50 wRC+ against lefties is easily worst in baseball, but their lineup has plenty of guys you'd expect to crush poor ones. Tim Anderson ($2,400), Josh Bell ($2,900), and Avisail Garcia ($2,200) all have career OPS marks north of .690 against them, and the dynamic Jazz Chisholm ($3,300) can typically find a way on base to rack up fantasy points.

Based on name value compared to other bottom feeders, I'm surprised Miami has struggled so much in this split. A soft date with Corbin today could rectify that issue quickly.

Los Angeles Dodgers

With just a 4.25-run implied team total, the Los Angeles Dodgers might actually be ignored a bit today, but further research deems that inappropriate.

Kevin Gausman will draw fear from DFS stackers just on name value alone, but Gausman has badly struggled to begin the 2024 season. Though his 5.57 ERA is poor. a 6.31 xERA actually implies it could be far worse. The Toronto Blue Jays' Opening Day starter has been torched for 1.29 HR/9 entering this start with the league's third-highest count of dingers (34) so far. He's also currently holding his lowest K rate (18.9%) since 2014.

If I'm saving salary with Littell, the Dodgers are my favorite way to spend it. They've smashed righties for a league-best 132 wRC+ so far with Shohei Ohtani ($4,300), Mookie Betts ($4,200), Max Muncy ($3,400), and Freddie Freeman ($3,300) impossibly all holding an OPS better of .900 in the split. Generally, that's the best guy in the entire stack, but here's four of them.

It also doesn't hurt L.A.'s case that the Blue Jays have the fourth-worst bullpen xFIP (4.27) so far.

Others to Consider

  • Atlanta Braves
    • After a rare two-run outing on Saturday, I don't think it's a given that the Bravos rebound on Sunday. Ben Lively's 2.51 SIERA and 33.3% strikeout rate have been a godsend for the Cleveland Guardians to begin the year. Their forecast looks solid but not spectacular.
  • Baltimore Orioles
    • It's Paul Blackburn Day for the A's, so a one-day respite from bullying them might be apt. Blackburns' 52.8% groundball rate and 36.0% hard-hit rate are so uncomfortable to load up stacks to face. He's this era's Wade Miley.
  • Tampa Bay Rays
    • After returning from Korea, Erick Fedde might be good again? His 3.38 SIERA and 27.7% strikeout rate are excellent, too. The scuffling Tampa offense has underwhelmed in consecutive days against cans; it's tough to forecast a turnaround against him.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.